Above: 9 x 12 inch sketch of resting sheep at the 2015 Minnesota State Fair. (Sakura Pigma Sensei Pen and Schmincke pan watercolors.) If you would like to improve your ability to sketch live subjects in public join me for the 2016 Drawing Practice Class listed below.
As 2015 wraps up it’s time to start setting creative goals for 2016. I’d like to tell you about some online classes I have coming that might help you with those creative goals.
If your goal is to improve your drawing skills and create a daily sketching habit while getting out more in public I encourage you to register for the 2016 drawing class.
If your goal is to learn to bind journals and sketchbooks that support your visual journaling or urban sketching think about the bookbinding class which follows.
Drawing Practice: Drawing Live Subjects in Public begins on January 31.
Registration for this class is now open. This link will also tell you additional information.
Each Monday and Thursday throughout February you will receive an invitation to a new lesson containing video demonstrations with handouts providing additional content and outlining daily drawing assignments. (Classroom will remain open for one year—until February 1, 2017. You will be able to review videos and classroom discussions.)
You should expect to spend a minimum of 30 minutes drawing each day. Each week one or more of your drawing sessions will take place at a public location where you will seek out live subjects. The length of the videos varies from session to session, but you should plan for an additional hour of lesson time each Monday and Thursday.
The daily assignments are not prompts. My goal for this month-long class is to provide exercises and guidelines that will allow you to become an independent, self-starting sketcher who enjoys a rich, daily drawing habit.
To accomplish this goal, in addition to the skills and exercises presented, we will work together in the classroom to learn a new vocabulary and method for talking about your art. It’s part of the habit building. You’ll learn how to approach you drawing with a realistic and joyous eye.
At the same time I will present techniques for shutting up your internal critic. This is a critical step in enjoying a life-long drawing practice.
This class involves teacher participation. I will be active in the class each and every day in February. I will be looking at the drawings and questions that you post. I will be responding in the classroom and through additional email memos that expand on the current lesson.
Additionally there will be two live webinars. Students will be able to ask questions and be part of a live discussion. (Don’t worry if you live in a different time zone. The webinars are taped and can be viewed at the student’s convenience.)
I believe a daily drawing practice is an essential component of any creative life. You get in touch with your own unique abilities and learn to observe the world around you.
The first phase of class lasts for a month because it has been shown that habits can be built in 21 to 29 days.
But at the end of that month I will provide you with additional tools to work independently and to evaluate your progress so that you can set new goals.
And we will continue to check in with four more live webinars over the course of the year. I find that students tend to work a little harder if they know they are going to be held accountable. Also, I like to know how your daily habit is going.
The classroom and all the videos will remain open for a year from the class starting date. You will have plenty of time to review all the video demonstrations and classroom discussions.
If 2016 is the year you’ve decided to get serious about your drawing practice I encourage you to register for this class and take this journey with me.
You can complete this class with a pencil and bond paper, but if you want there is a PDF of suggested supplies linked at the registration page.
Note: This is the only time in 2016 that I will be offering this class.
The Simple Round Back Spine begins on May 1, 2016.
Whether you are just starting your journaling and sketching habit or you have been filling journals for years you’ve probably wished that you could make a lovely, elegant, sturdy journal with paper that holds up to your working methods, in a size you love. A structure that will open flat on a scanner!
In this detailed class I will take you through the creation of just such a journal. I will teach you about paper grain, tearing paper, punching sewing holes, folding and sewing your signatures, and every step of creating the book cover and casing in your text block. The videos show each step clearly. I provide explanations for the “why” behind my approach so that you can come to understand binding more completely.
I will be active in class throughout May to answer your questions. This is an important class feature because students will work at their own pace. Some students finish a book in the first two days of class, others may work throughout the month on one book. You can decide when you want to work.
Class is geared toward the home bookbinder who does not have large presses and other expensive binding equipment. With only a few simple tools you can bind your own books.
For class purposes students will need to work with specific supplies so that I can ensure you learn the fundamentals and end up with a sound structure. But you are then encouraged to continue to make books throughout the year to solidify your knowledge. During that phase of class students often branch out into different sizes and different papers. I will continue to check the classroom during the year to answer questions and provide suggestions.
Additionally there will be four live webinars. Students will be able to ask questions and be part of a live discussion. (Don’t worry if you live in a different time zone. The webinars are taped and can be viewed at the student’s convenience.)
Classroom access to all the videos and classroom discussion lasts for one year from the class starting date. You will be able to review the tapes again and again as you continue to make books during the year. You will be building a durable skill.
I hope that you will join me to discover how fun and satisfying the binding process is.
Note: While the Simple Round Back Spine book structure is totally suitable for collage work, if the majority of your visual journal work is collage, I would suggest that you wait until later in the year to take my Sewn-on-the-Spine Journal class. That book structure is perfect for the sketcher who needs a book that accommodates even dimensional collage. I wanted to give you a heads up that this upcoming class because I realize we all need to budget our money and our time.
Additional book structures will be featured in upcoming classes in 2016 and 2017.